the republic logo

8 homes, 10 other buildings destroyed by California wildfire that burns about 5 square miles

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

KERNVILLE, California — A wildfire northeast of Bakersfield burning in steep terrain has destroyed eight homes and 10 other structures, authorities said, but residents of some 200 homes under evacuation orders were allowed to return home Wednesday evening.

The blaze near Lake Isabella was 15 percent contained after scorching about 5 square miles, Kern County Fire Capt. Derek Tisinger said. Firefighters working in drought conditions continued building containment lines after stopping the spread of the flames, and danger remained.

"There's still huge potential here, especially with the dry weather," Tisinger said. "We're not out of the woods yet."

Eight single-family homes and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed since the fire broke out on Monday, he said.

All evacuation orders and road closures were canceled at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

The cause of the fire about 50 miles from Bakersfield was under investigation.

PHOTO: Residents wait at the road closed sign on Bristlecone in Wofford Heights, Calif, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. The fire in Wofford Heights near Lake Isabella has grown to about slightly more than 1 square mile, or 800 acres, the U.S. Forest Service said.  (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie)  MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT
Residents wait at the road closed sign on Bristlecone in Wofford Heights, Calif, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. The fire in Wofford Heights near Lake Isabella has grown to about slightly more than 1 square mile, or 800 acres, the U.S. Forest Service said. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT

To the north, the remaining residents evacuated because of a wildfire that led to mass evacuations near Yosemite National Park were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday.

"We're at the point where we're turning the corner with the progress we had last night and yesterday," state fire spokesman Chris Christopherson said.

The flames drove about 1,000 people from their homes around Oakhurst, a community of several thousand in Madera County. Roughly 400 evacuees were allowed to return on Tuesday, with the rest given the green light to return on Wednesday morning.

The fire has burned about 1 square mile and was 65 percent contained. It started on Monday and quickly took off because of strong winds and tinder-dry conditions.

Fire officials reported the destruction of an additional structure, bring the total of number of structures destroyed to nine.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

A road leading visitors to the park reopened Tuesday, and the park itself remained unaffected by the blaze.

The fire comes amid California's third straight year of drought, creating tinder-dry conditions that have significantly increased the fire danger around the state and sent firefighters scrambling seemingly nonstop from blaze to blaze.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Video:
PHOTO: A wildfire that gave a scare to a community near Yosemite National Park after whose early surges has been tamed by firefighters. Some of the more than 1,000 people who evacuated their homes have returned. (Aug. 20)
A wildfire that gave a scare to a community near Yosemite National Park after whose early surges has been tamed by firefighters. Some of the more than 1,000 people who evacuated their homes have returned. (Aug. 20)
Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Shawn Padovich, right, sits with his family along a dry creek bed in folding chairs as he talks about the damage in the area along Old Barn Way in Oakhurst, Calif. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 as his wife Pamela, third from right, talks to a friend on the day after the Junction fire swept across Highway 41. The Padovich's house was left untouched by the fire but the property of about 4 acres was scorched in places. (AP Photo/The Fresno Bee, Eric Paul Zamora)
Click to view (26 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.